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Healthy Diet Tips: 12 Eating Habits You Need To Break Now

Healthy Diet Tips: 12 Eating Habits You Need To Break Now

Sometimes, willpower, or a lack thereof, isn’t always the reason for putting on the pounds or overeating. Sometimes it can be little things that make a big difference and the worse thing is? You probably don’t know you’re doing these things as they’ve become habitual to your everyday routine and thought process. The silver lining? I’ll help you uncover some of these eating habits so that you can make necessary adjustments to your lifestyle if required.

1. Do Not Fear The Fat

How many times have you stared obsessively at the back packaging of a product and gasped at its fat content? Uh huh – you’re not alone. It is vital that you understand that not all fats are bad for you. There are lots of healthy fats, which can be found in foods like nuts, natural peanut butter, olives & avocados, which are essential to our everyday diet. There’s even fats that can boost metabolism which as we know burns off those calories! So when you feel peckish grab a couple of Walnuts.

2. The Night Time Nosh

Tiptoeing downstairs to grab a late night cheese sarnie? You should think again. Studies tend to show that when food is consumed late at night — anywhere from after dinner to outside a person’s typical sleep/wake cycle — the body is more likely to store those calories as fat and cause weight gain rather than burn it off as energy. A simple tip? I treat my kitchen like a restaurant and after I’ve had dinner I class the kitchen as ‘closed’ – although odd at first, stick with it – it does work. Oh, and brush your teeth, no one likes eating with a clean mouth.

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3. The Desk Munch

Multitasking and keeping your ‘work head’ on whilst gorging on food at your desk has been a proven reason for what many people class as ‘unexplained weight gain’. In other words, people underestimate what they have eaten by a whopping 30-50% whilst being focussed on work and not on what they’re shovelling into their mouths. So, if you’re a crazy multi-tasking butterfly at work, try to take a breather and a small break for lunch, it could save the waistline.

4. Slow down!

My Grandfather used to say that his parents made him chew between 30-50 times before swallowing and naturally I laughed it off without a second thought – and how wrong I was. Did you know it takes your stomach 20 minutes to realise that it’s actually full? So, inevitably if you are eating faster you will consume more of what is put in front of you. Try chewing between 10-20 times and putting your silverware down between bites.

5. The Diet Food Conundrum

We see it everywhere nowadays, diet drinks, low fat, zero fat, no calories, low calories – it’s a nutritional minefield. Companies use these terms to appeal to the health conscious markets, but just how healthy are these foods and drinks? Here’s an example – take a Crispy Chicken Caesar salad at McDonalds which is advertised as their ‘healthy option’ – yet in its dark depths packs an gut-busting 900-1000 calories per serving which makes it more calorific than a Big Mac!

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6. A Fist Of Meat Is What You Should Eat

Love those T-bone steak dinners? Me too – and don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you can’t have them. However, the quantity of meat is a very important factor that we tend to overlook when indulging. Meats, especially red meats, contain high fat contents and calorific values, so lump on more veg than meat and it’ll pay dividends to your waistline. As a guideline, try to keep the meat around the same size as your fist.

7. The Starvation-Mode Shopper

Studies have shown that going grocery shopping whilst hungry more or less always leads to poor food choices falling into your basked or un-necessary ‘on the fly gorging’ around the grocery store. Whenever you go food shopping make sure you’ve had something to tide you over beforehand – something healthy. You’ll find it much easier to resist the temptation – I promise.

8. Drinking Without Thinking

We’ve all been partial to some over-indulgence in our lives and it’s fine in moderation. However, it’s always good to keep track of calorific intake when it comes to alcohol as there’s normally some really well disguised nasties in there. For example, grabbing that shot of Sambuca with a friend after a hard days work packs a mighty 100 calories – gulp.

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9. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mouth

Research shows that the reason we gorge on junk food consistently is because it’s either easily within reach or it’s clearly visible, and normally if this is the case you’ll find those sugary, high fat treats calling your name in melodic tones. Put these types of foods away – out of sight out of mind. Quick fact for you – those that have sugary treats or high fat snacks in their eye-line are 83% more likely to consume more calories than those that put them away!

10. No Skipping Breakfast People!

I’m very guilty of skipping breakfast and it’s probably for the same reason you do – you’re in too much of a rush! However, it seems we’ve all truly underestimated as to how important breakfast actually is. Overnight, you are essentially fasting whilst asleep which means you’re metabolism has slowed right the way down and in order for that to get kick started again, breakfast is essential. Fun fact for you, people that eat breakfast are 91% more likely to lose weight than those that skip!

11. Water, Water, Water!

You may be watching calories, you may be exercising and you may be making every right food choice under sun, but if you’re lacking water, your results will suffer drastically. Not drinking enough water actually slows down your metabolism so anything that you do ingest whilst low on water will actually break down a lot slower than if you were fully hydrated. Keep your water levels up at all times and you’ll find this will bolster any weight loss efforts.

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12. Listen To Your Gut

We live in a world where we’ve all been essentially brought up to ‘clear our plates’ and ironically, that was to get a sticky treat after dinner. Start listening to your stomach throughout meals and it’ll tell you when it’s had enough – at that very point, place down your knife and fork – anything you eat after this moment on is quite possibly overkill.

I’m looking at YOU! How many of these could you relate to? If you’re guilty of quite a few try not to tackle them all at once as it will become overwhelming and you’ll just slot straight back into your old routine. Defeat each point one at a time and you’ll soon kick the habits that could very well be impeding any health or fitness goals you have this year.

Good Luck!

Featured photo credit: Brigham Young University via news.byu.edu

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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